Subdued Durga Puja celebrations in Tripura due to low budget, COVID situation

  • | Thursday | 14th October, 2021

Agartala, Oct 14 (PTI) Durga Puja is being celebrated in a subdued manner across Tripura due to low budget and the COVID situation. Most of the Durga Puja organisers in the state have slashed their budgets due to low collection of funds from people and less advertisements. As per COVID guidelines, the Durga Puja organisers have erected smaller open pandals so that revellers can see the idols from outside. "The height of idols mustn"t exceed 10 feet, and more than five people shouldn"t enter a marquee at a time to avoid the spread of COVID-19," Additional Home Secretary Anindya Bhattacharya said. "All the COVID guidelines are being strictly followed. This year, we have kept our budget low and all artisans who have been engaged are from Tripura. Earlier, we used to hire people from Kolkata and Nabadwip in West Bengal," Bir Chandra Ghosh, vice president of crowd-puller Bharat Ratna Sangha puja in Agartala, said. Netaji Play Forum, another famous puja organiser in the state capital, has also hired local artisans due to a constrained budget of Rs 6 lakh. The idols can be seen from any part of the ground where the open marquee themed on a fictional Nag Mandir has been erected, Forum treasurer Jishnu Saha said. Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Club themed its marquee on a south Indian temple and artisans from West Bengal were hired. This year"s budget of Rs 15 lakh is also higher than 2020, its president Shibu Saha said. Big puja organiser Oikatan Yuva Sangshta themed its pandal erected by Kolkata artisans in a "sabekiyana" (traditional) style and decorated it with expensive lights, its president Sujit Roy said. Polestar Club, which is also known for its theme puja, down-scaled its celebrations this year at a budget of Rs 6.5 lakh and erected an open temple structure by local artisans, its secretary Pijush Kanti Dey said. Tripura Police has made elaborate security arrangements to ensure a peaceful Durga Puja, a senior officer said. "A total of 2,176 Durga Pujas are being organised in the state this year, of which 865 are in urban areas and 1,311 in villages. In Agartala and its surrounding areas, 554 pujas are being celebrated," Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Arindam Nath said. A total of 7,660 police personnel have been deployed across the state to maintain law and order, and traffic. Eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) platoons have been deployed in eight major police station areas. The Border Security Force (BSF) has been requested to heighten vigil along the India-Bangladesh border, he said. Preventive operations are also been conducted separately by the police and Tripura State Rifles in vulnerable areas, the officer said. There are a total of 157 police assistance booths across the state, including 50 in Agartala. Ninety-eight watchtowers have been erected, including 25 in the capital town, he said, adding that sensitive areas have been brought under CCTV surveillance. PTI JOY ACD ACD

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